How to Become a Medical Social Worker?

Are you thinking of becoming a Medical Social Worker or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Medical Social Worker, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Medical Social Worker job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Social Worker

A social worker provides direct services to assist clients with needs pertaining to daily life issues, problems, and complications, including cases of substance abuse challenges, mental health issues, domestic violence, abuse, or neglect. They can also help with a terminal illness diagnosis, adoptions, and working with specific populations, such as the addiction community, disabled individuals, and children. Here are five steps on how to become a social worker.
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1

Complete a bachelor's degree in social work.

To be considered for a job as a social worker or be accepted into social worker programs, you'll need to get your high school diploma or equivalent certificate. Afterward, you should seek your bachelor's degree in social work to help prepare you for the next step in your education and provide you with the valuable knowledge you'll need as you begin work in the field. Some advanced education programs will require a bachelor's degree to enter, but not all do.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Social Worker?

52% of people working as a Social Worker earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Social Worker?

  • Effective Communication
  • English Language
  • IN Spanish
  • Computer Literate
  • Excellent Communication
  • Report Writing
  • Leadership
  • Written Communication
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Social Worker in the United States.
2

Consider a master's degree in social work

After you've obtained your bachelor's degree, you may choose to begin a master's program in social work. Not all employers will require this. Your school program options may vary from part-time to full-time and in-person or online courses. Choose one that works best with your current lifestyle. Pursue an education that is Council on Social Work Education accredited. These provide you with the skills needed to be successful and have a high standard of practice. Obtaining your master's degree may open up a variety of career options with higher pay.

3

Complete your social work licensing exam.

To become a licensed social worker, you'll often be required to complete the Association of Social Work Board Social Work Licensing examination. Approval may be required from the social work board in your state to register for this examination. There are various levels of the social work examination; these include clinical, bachelor's, master's, and advanced generalist. Each consists of 170 multiple-choice questions and a minimum education requirement.

4

Get licensed as a social worker in your state.

Depending on where you live, you'll need to be licensed within the state to be hired as a social worker. You'll apply for your license after you've completed your examination. These licensing requirements are put into place to ensure that social workers within each state meet the requirements needed to perform properly. Check your state's requirements for licensure.

5

Begin your career in social work.

After completing your education, passing your examination, and completing licensure requirements, you're ready to begin applying for jobs as a social worker. There are various career opportunities as social workers can work in multiple settings and perform different roles. This allows you to choose which interests you, fits your passions, and choose somewhere where your skills will be good to good use. Here are some examples of careers you can pursue as a social worker:

  • Medical Social Work. You'll provide support and care in a medical or healthcare setting as you alleviate some of the difficulties placed on patients and their families during this time.
  • Mental Health. Many of these positions require a master's degree. You'll practice in rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, and hospitals as you provide crisis intervention, therapy, and more to those who need it.
  • Substance Abuse. You'll act as a liaison between those struggling with substance abuse and their families and medical services.
  • School Social Work. This type of social worker helps bridge the gap between academia and children's personal lives. Duties include behavioral intervention, working with students with special needs, and even working with child services or the juvenile justice system as needed.

Medical Social Worker Career Path

Social Worker

8+Years of Experience
$47K - $71K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior Social Worker

2 - 4Years of Experience
$71K - $106K /yrMost Likely Range
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Adjunct Social Worker

No Years of Experience Reports
$56K - $86K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Medical Social Worker Career Path

Social Worker I
Social Worker
Senior Social Worker
Social Worker Manager
Adjunct Social Worker
Senior Manager of Social Work
Social Worker V
Director of Social Work
Vice President of Social Service Administration
Chief Social Worker
$40K
$64K
$88K
$112K
$160K

Related Careers in the Healthcare Industry

Interested in other Healthcare careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Medical Social Worker skills. Discover some of the most common Medical Social Worker career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Clinical Social Worker
13% skills overlap
21% transitioned to Clinical Social Worker